addforone

Drug-Addicted Future MD

6 posts in this topic

I need help. 

 

I’m back in the grip. I relapsed in June because of a confluence of events - mostly a really bad breakup coupled with the demands of school that I just didn’t want to trudge through. 

 

Was prescribed for ADD when I was in high school. I’m 28 now. As many others have mentioned, it helped tremendously in the beginning (for the first decade or so!). Started on concerta, switched to vyvanse (where the abuse started) then onto adderall. For the sake of brevity, I won’t go into the war story. The gist: even before I was abusing the drug, stimulants changed me. I was narrow-minded, anti-social, etc etc. Senior year of college, I took a medical leave of absence. I knew I was killing myself and couldn’t continue doing what I was doing. I spent 6 years thereafter in a stimulant hellhole. Somehow graduated college, intermixed with a complete loss of friends, jobs (save for dealing), sense of self. I was in and out of the rooms but wasn’t ready to get clean. I just wanted a reprieve in a life of darkness and loneliness. 

 

I finally got clean and sober in January of 2018. It’s hard to remember what it was like in the early days, but I knew it was difficult. And then it got better. I was sober for 18 months.  I started getting into AA, got a sponsor, made real friends, did service. My life got much bigger in sobriety. I got a dream job (that I still have, thankfully) in clinical research and accepted to an Ivy league school for a premedical program. 

 

My first semester in school was very challenging. I was unfamiliar with the content; beyond that, I simply did not (do not) know how to be a student without medication. I would allot plentiful time to sit and study, but I really, really struggled. For 6 months, I fought what felt like a tireless, uphill battle and ended up with a mediocre grade. I am NOT accustomed to this. As I’m sure is the case for many of you, I was a nearly straight A student, in very difficult science classes. Being in school sober made me feel utterly defeated, incompetent, and disabled in a way that felt so fundamental it was scary. So after my boyfriend broke up with me, I went to my doctor and got a script. 

 

I GENUINELY believed I could control my use. All I wanted was to be able to focus and be the student I knew I could be. It wasn’t long before I started abusing it - and beyond that, it is impossible to go back to the innocence of the pre-war period. My entire life was AA: my relationships, friendships, everything was structured around it. 

 

It’s been 4 months since the relapse and, while I haven’t been using to the degree that I was, my heart hurts. My friends in AA know everything, and my using has planted a wedge in those friendships. I’ve had no terrible consequences thus far, but I am soul-sick. 

 

I feel lost. I am no longer after the high, first. All I want is to make the most of this opportunity to complete this program that was so freely given to me. I want to finish my requirements so I can go to medical school and do the thing I feel most passionate about. 

 

Right now, it feels like I have to choose between being a drug-addicted doctor, or being a sober person whose only recourse is to pursue a different career path. It just feels so impossible for me to be successful and apply myself in school without this fucking medication. 

 

In my ideal world, I could concentrate without meds. In my ideal world, I would have a place in the rooms to claim my seat and REALLY talk about what’s going on, unmitigated, unadulterated, and raw. I’ve had a run with NA, and can’t find the identification there. I can’t find it in AA, either. I know I am making myself smaller in those meetings, ever so subtly obfuscating in my shares so as to not reveal the very specific set of challenges associated with getting clean from stimulants. 

 

Please help. Any and all suggestions welcome. I want to save my life.

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Getting off of it will change your life for the good.  All you need is some help and support--and believe in yourself! You can and will do this.  Have you considered outpatient (or inpatient) rehab? or at the very least, seeing a therapist? 

 

Feel free to message me anytime.  I have been where you've been many times and I am happy to say I have been off Adderall for just over one year and I have no desire to ever to take it again.

 

Good luck and once again, I"m here if you want to talk !

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On 10/3/2019 at 8:12 PM, addforone said:

Right now, it feels like I have to choose between being a drug-addicted doctor, or being a sober person whose only recourse is to pursue a different career path.

And see: this is the lie. It's very likely instead of being a drug-addicted doctor, you'll fail miserably and never reach your goals.

It wouldn't be fair to sugar coat it to you. You're a junkie in the grips of addiction. All this talk about a difficult break up and demands of school...you have to TAKE RESPONSIBILITY. It's going to get worse, never better. Don't believe me? Read the relapse posts on this forum. 

If AA worked for you at one point but you feel like you can't be open about your struggles, find a new sponsor. I get along just fine in there. I don't make it a blanket recommendation on here to do 12 step: many people on these forums get and stay clean off Adderall without it. But many people also blame it for their inability to stay clean which is a joke. The vast majority of people on here I've come across who criticize 12 step end up having problems with other substances down the road, or end up relapsing on Adderall. The ones who don't need it and life is going well don't feel the need to criticize it.   

Getting and staying off Adderall has to be priority #1. Hit me up in PM's if you want to talk more.

Good luck. 

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Addforone,

Have you heard of Smart Recovery?  It's an alternative to AA.  Might be a thought.  If something isn't working for you, then keep searching until you find your answers and don't lose hope. There are many roads to recovery.  You just have to find what works for you.  I'd be happy to share my experience with Smart.  I feel like I shouldn't be posting because I did relapse, but I have been in and out of AA since I was 14.  Smart has been the program that kept me going strong starting back in 2010.  I was clean for over 6 years with Smart.  Message me if you want to chat.  

 

You got this!

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Hi! 27F here with an intense academic background. When I got clean, I went from straight As to straight Cs. The mental clarity and love that came from within myself from doing something really, really difficult... that I had only ever done high (since high school), and then learning slowly how to do it CLEAN... was absolutely worth the TEMPORARY hit to my GPA. I understand you want to take advantage of Ivy League Med School (CONGRATULATIONS! That's a bfd if no one's told you today and YOU earned it, not adderall), and that it's exceedingly competitive and rigorous. But girl. It's not worth it.

Get your Cs temporarily if you have to. Do residency at a second tier hospital. You CAN scrape by academically clean and sober. It'll be hard, but worth it. After you take a year to adjust, you might even be better at school come years 2-4. It'll be brutal, but so worth it. You don't want to be 35 and miserable wishing you had become better acquainted with who you really were in med school. Also, it's a great time to make friends as well. Stress bonding! You can do this. Hit meetings when you can - go when you don't want to. You got this.

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On 10/3/2019 at 8:12 PM, addforone said:

I need help. 

 

I’m back in the grip. I relapsed in June because of a confluence of events - mostly a really bad breakup coupled with the demands of school that I just didn’t want to trudge through. 

 

Was prescribed for ADD when I was in high school. I’m 28 now. As many others have mentioned, it helped tremendously in the beginning (for the first decade or so!). Started on concerta, switched to vyvanse (where the abuse started) then onto adderall. For the sake of brevity, I won’t go into the war story. The gist: even before I was abusing the drug, stimulants changed me. I was narrow-minded, anti-social, etc etc. Senior year of college, I took a medical leave of absence. I knew I was killing myself and couldn’t continue doing what I was doing. I spent 6 years thereafter in a stimulant hellhole. Somehow graduated college, intermixed with a complete loss of friends, jobs (save for dealing), sense of self. I was in and out of the rooms but wasn’t ready to get clean. I just wanted a reprieve in a life of darkness and loneliness. 

 

I finally got clean and sober in January of 2018. It’s hard to remember what it was like in the early days, but I knew it was difficult. And then it got better. I was sober for 18 months.  I started getting into AA, got a sponsor, made real friends, did service. My life got much bigger in sobriety. I got a dream job (that I still have, thankfully) in clinical research and accepted to an Ivy league school for a premedical program. 

 

My first semester in school was very challenging. I was unfamiliar with the content; beyond that, I simply did not (do not) know how to be a student without medication. I would allot plentiful time to sit and study, but I really, really struggled. For 6 months, I fought what felt like a tireless, uphill battle and ended up with a mediocre grade. I am NOT accustomed to this. As I’m sure is the case for many of you, I was a nearly straight A student, in very difficult science classes. Being in school sober made me feel utterly defeated, incompetent, and disabled in a way that felt so fundamental it was scary. So after my boyfriend broke up with me, I went to my doctor and got a script. 

 

I GENUINELY believed I could control my use. All I wanted was to be able to focus and be the student I knew I could be. It wasn’t long before I started abusing it - and beyond that, it is impossible to go back to the innocence of the pre-war period. My entire life was AA: my relationships, friendships, everything was structured around it. 

 

It’s been 4 months since the relapse and, while I haven’t been using to the degree that I was, my heart hurts. My friends in AA know everything, and my using has planted a wedge in those friendships. I’ve had no terrible consequences thus far, but I am soul-sick. 

 

I feel lost. I am no longer after the high, first. All I want is to make the most of this opportunity to complete this program that was so freely given to me. I want to finish my requirements so I can go to medical school and do the thing I feel most passionate about. 

 

Right now, it feels like I have to choose between being a drug-addicted doctor, or being a sober person whose only recourse is to pursue a different career path. It just feels so impossible for me to be successful and apply myself in school without this fucking medication. 

 

In my ideal world, I could concentrate without meds. In my ideal world, I would have a place in the rooms to claim my seat and REALLY talk about what’s going on, unmitigated, unadulterated, and raw. I’ve had a run with NA, and can’t find the identification there. I can’t find it in AA, either. I know I am making myself smaller in those meetings, ever so subtly obfuscating in my shares so as to not reveal the very specific set of challenges associated with getting clean from stimulants. 

 

Please help. Any and all suggestions welcome. I want to save my life.

On 10/3/2019 at 8:12 PM, addforone said:

I need help. 

 

I’m back in the grip. I relapsed in June because of a confluence of events - mostly a really bad breakup coupled with the demands of school that I just didn’t want to trudge through. 

 

Was prescribed for ADD when I was in high school. I’m 28 now. As many others have mentioned, it helped tremendously in the beginning (for the first decade or so!). Started on concerta, switched to vyvanse (where the abuse started) then onto adderall. For the sake of brevity, I won’t go into the war story. The gist: even before I was abusing the drug, stimulants changed me. I was narrow-minded, anti-social, etc etc. Senior year of college, I took a medical leave of absence. I knew I was killing myself and couldn’t continue doing what I was doing. I spent 6 years thereafter in a stimulant hellhole. Somehow graduated college, intermixed with a complete loss of friends, jobs (save for dealing), sense of self. I was in and out of the rooms but wasn’t ready to get clean. I just wanted a reprieve in a life of darkness and loneliness. 

 

I finally got clean and sober in January of 2018. It’s hard to remember what it was like in the early days, but I knew it was difficult. And then it got better. I was sober for 18 months.  I started getting into AA, got a sponsor, made real friends, did service. My life got much bigger in sobriety. I got a dream job (that I still have, thankfully) in clinical research and accepted to an Ivy league school for a premedical program. 

 

My first semester in school was very challenging. I was unfamiliar with the content; beyond that, I simply did not (do not) know how to be a student without medication. I would allot plentiful time to sit and study, but I really, really struggled. For 6 months, I fought what felt like a tireless, uphill battle and ended up with a mediocre grade. I am NOT accustomed to this. As I’m sure is the case for many of you, I was a nearly straight A student, in very difficult science classes. Being in school sober made me feel utterly defeated, incompetent, and disabled in a way that felt so fundamental it was scary. So after my boyfriend broke up with me, I went to my doctor and got a script. 

 

I GENUINELY believed I could control my use. All I wanted was to be able to focus and be the student I knew I could be. It wasn’t long before I started abusing it - and beyond that, it is impossible to go back to the innocence of the pre-war period. My entire life was AA: my relationships, friendships, everything was structured around it. 

 

It’s been 4 months since the relapse and, while I haven’t been using to the degree that I was, my heart hurts. My friends in AA know everything, and my using has planted a wedge in those friendships. I’ve had no terrible consequences thus far, but I am soul-sick. 

 

I feel lost. I am no longer after the high, first. All I want is to make the most of this opportunity to complete this program that was so freely given to me. I want to finish my requirements so I can go to medical school and do the thing I feel most passionate about. 

 

Right now, it feels like I have to choose between being a drug-addicted doctor, or being a sober person whose only recourse is to pursue a different career path. It just feels so impossible for me to be successful and apply myself in school without this fucking medication. 

 

In my ideal world, I could concentrate without meds. In my ideal world, I would have a place in the rooms to claim my seat and REALLY talk about what’s going on, unmitigated, unadulterated, and raw. I’ve had a run with NA, and can’t find the identification there. I can’t find it in AA, either. I know I am making myself smaller in those meetings, ever so subtly obfuscating in my shares so as to not reveal the very specific set of challenges associated with getting clean from stimulants. 

 

Please help. Any and all suggestions welcome. I want to save my life.

@addforone I really enjoyed your post, you are very well spoken.  I feel like I understand your situation 100%.  I am an ER nurse practitioner with two children. I work swing shifts in a rural hospital. There are a small number of providers there and I am the youngest and least experienced (at 35 with ten years as an rn and six as a midlevel).  Management posts our productivity numbers in the break room for all to see and have struggled to keep from being at the bottom every quarter. Although one of the hospitalists has told me I'm the most thorough.  So if you think the struggle and the grind end with your education, I'm here to inform you that sadly that is not the case. This is even more true if you have a family. I do not suffer from ADD(I do have depression and mild OCD), I just needed super human levels of energy to keep up the pace of my life.  Because I work in a rural ED, the docs sometimes have 24 hrs shifts.  There were many times the doc would sleep and I would only wake him up for a code or intubation. This meant that I can't miss a detail. It is literally a matter of life and death for me to stay sharp. I was so relieved to read your post because I know you understand this unique struggle.  I am ten days clean and still struggling but surviving. I am afraid to go to NA. If word gets out, I would have to report this to the board. Medical professionals are held to a higher standard. We are expected to be perfect, hide our struggles, keep grinding, don't miss a diagnosis, etc or be shamed by our own community.  

I wish you success in your journey.  Statistically speaking, medical professionals are more prone to addiction but more successful in recovery than non medical professionals. Let's embrace that fact keep trudging along.  I just keep reminding myself that plenty of people do this job without stimulants. It is possible...

 

 

 

 

 

 

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